What are pigs doing?: HK peoples' empathy for Boar National Overseas (BNO)
Updated: Dec 2, 2021
Hong Kong (HK) people are rightfully proud of HK's country parks and nature. Hiking during the cooler Autumn months in HK is a very popular pastime. HK's MacLeHose Trail, for example, has nearly 100 kilometers of country park trails.
HKers, having watched and participated in mass peaceful protests since 2019 against the HK government and their masters the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) know that they have been, and are being, mistreated - and so is HK's nature including the wild boars!
HKers have empathy for the wild boars! Hence the twist on 'BNO' from 'British National Overseas' (the passport under which many HKers are seeking emigration to UK) to 'Boar National Overseas'.
The HK government department responsible for the current culling of the wild boars is the 'Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department' (Ag & Fish). HK has almost no agriculture to speak of - aside from miniscule organic farming. HK waters were fully fished out many years ago. There is now minimal if any 'conservation' in HK - the pink dolphins, the mascot of the handover to China, have faired even worse since 1997. Conservation is in conflict with agriculture and fisheries so why have a conflicted department to begin with!
It is high time to shut down Ag & Fish along with the rest of this incompetent and unlawful HK government!
The elitist and corrupt HK government, and their co-conspirator property developers, seem to spend their time trying to figure out new ways to fill in HK's coastal waters with landfill, erode critical wetlands in the Northern New Territories and otherwise reduce HK to a concrete jungle just to maximize their personal net worth.
An example of this corruption is the relationship between Thomas Kwok, family member of one of HK's largest and wealthiest property developers Sun Hung Kai, and former HK's chief secretary Rafael Hui - who received bribes of an estimated HK$35million. Kwok went to prison for five years and Hui seven and a half years.
HK's wild boar population is spread across the SAR - most are in pockets close to country parks which are their natural habitat. Humans are encroaching on the traditional habitat of wild animals - and these wild animals have their rights to equal access to nature. To do otherwise is speciesism - i.e. discrimination. We need HK's rule of law!
By not ensuring nature's conservation, including the wild boars, HK is reducing its bio-diversity and therefore it is increasing peoples' risks of infectious diseases such as COVID! This has for centuries been the core problem of 'human development' at the expense of the 'natural' world. Until this is corrected, humanity will continue on its current path of a downward spiral.
In HK there are also 'wild' water buffalos, once used for farming rice paddy fields, who have since been set free. Most buffalo's are on Lantau Island and Kam Tin in the New Territories.
Twitter HKFP reference below.
'Hong Kong culls wild boar after police officer attack'
RFA 22 November 2021 By Man Hoi Yan
The city deletes the animal from a list of protected species and sets a quota for killing operations.
More than 300 veterinarians, animal nurses, and student vets have lodged a protest over the mass culling of wild boar in Hong Kong after one of the formerly protected animals attacked a police officer.
A petition calling on the city's government to abandon its mass cull of boar and return to its earlier capture-and-relocation strategy had garnered around 350 signatures on Monday, government broadcaster RTHK reported.
The campaigners are calling on the city's agriculture, fisheries and conservation (Ag & Fish) department, which began euthanizing wild boar by injection on Nov. 17, to use contraception to keep the wild pig population down instead, it said.
According to the department, the boar have made a habit of of wandering along the Shum Wan Road in search of food, prompting officials to capture and relocate 35 boar to remote locations, and to sterilize 27 of them.
"However, capture and contraception/relocation operations could not effectively control the wild pig nuisance," the department said in a statement.
"A large group of wild pigs continued to wander and gather at the site, posing threats to members of the public and road users."
Instead, officials had begun killing the boar by dart gun, to reduce numbers, it said.
The cull is in sharp contrast to previous strategies, which usually involved peaceful coexistence despite occasional media stories of boar attacks, or invasions of urban spaces and buildings.
But the policy appeared to change abruptly after an auxiliary police officer was attacked in North Point at the beginning of November, with the agriculture and fisheries department switching to euthanasia as a preferred method for dealing with the animals.
According to Ag & Fish official Simon Chan, the cull has set a target for the number of animals to be killed in five operations planned in the next few weeks covering 70-80 known feeding areas.
The department was recently found to have been inflating the attack figures, claiming that around 10 occur every year, retracting the figure after journalists said the average number of injuries is actually eight per annum.
Wild boars have now been deleted from a list of protected species on the Ag & Fish website, in what Chan described as the correction of a previous error.
No chance of error
Mak Chi-ho, who heads the Non-Profit Veterinary Services Association, said there was no possibility that any error had been made regarding the boars' protected status, however.
"I've never seen the government be that careless," Mak told RFA on Monday. "Actually there is a documented record of everything, and no possibility for error."
"There were several mistakes in the numbers ... and they don't seem to be taking responsibility; I think this is a bit strange," Mak said.
Mak said many more measures could be tried, such as replacing trash cans with boar-proof rubbish bins, and feeding them in remote locations to prevent them coming into more urban areas looking for food.
"There are five or six different ways they could do this, and they can't say that the sterilization program isn't working after just two or three years," he said. "That's very unfair [on the boar]."
"They can't just rely on a single measure," he said.
A turnaround in attitude
The cull seems to mark a total turnaround in Ag & Fish's previous attitude to the creatures, which were once the subject of educational activities like "Wild Boar Adventure," which taught children aged three to 12 as recently as May 2021 how to stay safe around the animals.
The department also made a public information film in February 2019 telling people to give boars plenty of space and never to feed them.
The Society for the Protection of Animals (SPCA) condemned the cull in a Nov. 17 post to its Facebook page.
"The SPCA reinstate that a non-lethal approach to wildlife management is always preferred, and is against the idea of hunting boars as this proved to be problematic on several fronts," the group said.
"The SPCA have expressed our concern and disagreement with this approach but to date our voice has been ignored and not been addressed."
"If you see wild boar, keep your distance, don't interfere with them, and don't feed them, and they will leave of their own accord," the video told residents.
Since 2017, Ag & Fish has also run a mass sterilization and relocation problem in the bid to keep down the number of wild boar, which are believe to number from 1,800 to 3,300.
Officials told the Legislative Council (LegCo) environmental affairs committee in June that more than 800 boar had been captured in this way, while around one in four had been sterilized by the end of March, and 610 relocated to remote rural areas far from residential buildings.
"These relocation operations immediately alleviate the public nuisance caused by wild boar," according to a document released by the committee on June 28, 2021. It quoted an Ag & Fish official as saying the sterilization program will also have an effect on the boar population in the mid-to-long-term.
Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.
Reddit 21 November 2021 'This is one of the reasons why there was such a huge reaction to the government’s killing of wild boars. They might be targeting the boars, but Hong Kongers saw themselves in the way the boars were treated.'
Reddit 21 November 2021 'Daddy, why are we leaving Hong Kong? (@Offbeatvillage)'
Reddit 21 November 2021 'The other animal farm'
Reddit 18 November 2021 'Hong Kong gov slaughters a whole family of 7 boars to appease its police after a cop has provoked a boar and got bitten as a result'
Reddit 18 November 2021 '"New Hong Kong" by ah to'
Please read and share our blogs if you wish:
Nothing good has happened to the pink dolphins, the mascot of Hong Kong reunification with China!
HKFP 1 December 2021 'Hong Kong gov’t refuses to meet with animal concern group, as 2 more wild pigs killed'
HKFP 22 November 2021 'Set up a tusk force: how to combat Hong Kong’s wild pig nuisance without culling'
RFA 22 November 2021 'Hong Kong culls wild boar after police officer attack'
The Guardian 18 November 2021 'Hong Kong begins hunting wild boar amid public safety fears'